Jury resumes deliberations in Depp vs Heard trial

US actress Amber Heard attends the trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 24, 2022. Actor Johnny Depp is suing ex-wife Amber Heard for libel after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The jury in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard summarized deliberations Wednesday, working painstakingly through a special verdict form that contains dozens of questions.

The seven-person jury met for a full day on Tuesday and returned Wednesday morning to Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, near the US capital, to continue their discussions.

The 58-year-old “Pirates of the Caribbean” star filed against Heard over statements in an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The 36-year-old Heard countersued for $100 million, saying she was defamed by statements made by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail her abuse claims were a “hoax.”

Both need to prove the statements were defamatory, and to win compensatory or punitive damages, the jury needs to find they were made with actual malice — with knowledge that they were false or with “reckless disregard” for whether they were false or not.

Depp, a guitarist, has his own band, the Hollywood Vampires, with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of fans of the “Pirates” star and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media.

Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple were played for the jury, which were also shown photographs of injuries allegedly suffered by Heard during their volatile relationship.

Depp claimed the tip of a finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard said she did not know how the injury occurred.

Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” during alcohol- and drug-fueled binges and resisted her repeated efforts to curb his drinking and drug use.

“No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us, but I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse,” he said.

Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” He lost that case in November 2020.

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Originally published as Jury summaries deliberations in Depp vs Heard trial

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